Former Batman Michael Keaton is to be honoured with the Modern Master Award at the 30th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The actor, who is being hotly tipped for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in new movie Birdman, will collect the accolade at a gala on 31 January (15).
Past Modern Masters have included Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sean Penn, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett and Clint Eastwood.
Announcing next year's (15) recipient, SBIFF executive director Roger Durling says, "There is no actor more befitting of the Modern Master Award than the legendary Michael Keaton. His performance in Birdman is tremendous, showing the range of decades-long experience."
Samuel L. Jackson and Beyonce are among the stars who have paid tribute to legendary Bond villain Geoffrey Holder following his death on Sunday (05Oct14). The dancer/actor, who passed away aged 84 after a battle with pneumonia, was best known for playing villainous voodoo henchman Baron Samedi opposite Sir Roger Moore's 007 in 1973 Bond move Live and Let Die.
His passing has sparked an outpouring of grief in the entertainment industry, with stars including Jackson offering tributes.
The Pulp Fiction legend posted a picture of himself with Holder on his Twitter.com page, adding, "I brush up against fame all the time, but encountering greatness is Rare! RIP Mr Holder!!"
Music superstar Beyonce uploaded a black and white portrait of Holder to her website with the caption, "Geoffrey Holder was a man with as much talent as he had charisma. May he rest in absolute peace. - B."
Oscar winner Marlee Matlin adds, "RIP Geoffrey Holder - multi-talented Broadway star & true gentleman", while director Edgar Wright remembers him as one of the best Bond villains, adding with a reference to the closing scene of Live and Let Die, "I would like to think that Geoffrey Holder is not dead but sitting on the back of a train laughing maniacally into camera. RIP Baron Samedi."
Freddie Mercury's lost duet with Michael Jackson has made it onto Queen's latest hits and rarities album. Just weeks ago, Queen drummer Roger Taylor confessed he could only hope that the track, There Must Be More To Life Than This, would feature on the new release after revealing that dealing with the Jackson family and the King of Pop's estate officials was like "wading through glue".
But it seems all parties have come to an agreement, because the unreleased song, recorded in the early 1980s, will appear on Queen Forever, which is scheduled for release in November (14).
The track, remastered by super-producer William Orbit, is not completely new to Mercury fans as he featured a solo version on his 1985 album Mr. Bad Guy.
Queen's two-disc new album will also include the completed version of Let Me in Your Heart Again, which was cut from the group's 1984 album The Works, and a new version of Mercury's solo hit Love Kills.
Guitarist Brian May calls the new collection "things that we have collected together that are representative of our growth rather than the big hits".
Meanwhile, Taylor calls the compilation "a definitive collection of Queen's timeless love songs".
Queen drummer Roger Taylor has spoken out about his dealings with the executors of Michael Jackson's estate over his plans to release a forgotten King of Pop/Freddie Mercury duet, revealing they have been "difficult" to deal with. Taylor and his bandmate Brian May were hoping to add the song the two late music icons recorded together on the upcoming album Queen Forever, but the estate bosses are refusing to grant permission.
The rocker tells the London Evening Standard, "William Orbit did a really nice mix of one of our tracks with Michael and I'm pretty certain that will be on Queen Forever. But it's been like wading through glue."
Taylor is still hopeful that he and May will be given the OK to include the track, admitting he's still not sure what will make the new album.
He adds, "We've got some great new tracks that haven't been heard and there's an interesting selection of older stuff."
May and Taylor are currently on tour with former American Idol star Adam Lambert.
Samuel L. Jackson has shot down rumours suggesting he endured an awkward silence with Victoria Beckham as they sat side-by-side at the Wimbledon tennis championships on Sunday (06Jul14), insisting they "had a ball".
A host of celebrities were spotted in the crowd at the Men's Singles Final in London as Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in a nail-biting five-set match, but it was film footage of the movie icon and former Spice Girls star Beckham fidgeting through an apparent silence during the game that went viral on Monday morning (07Jul14).
The Vine.com clip showed the Pulp Fiction actor scratching his head and stroking his thigh during a break in the match as the two stars appeared to ignore one another.
However, Jackson has since taken to his Twitter.com account to dispel claims they failed to strike up a conversation. In a post on Monday (07Jul14), he writes, "Lotta Bulls**t goin' round (sic), I had a ball sitting next to @victoriabeckham at Wimbledon yesterday! Truly Lovely!STFU (shut the f**k up)!!"
Lotta Bullshit goin' round, I had a ball sitting next to @victoriabeckham at Wimbledon yesterday! Truly Lovely!STFU!!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) July 7, 2014
Beckham had been joined by her soccer star husband David at Centre Court, while Sir Sean Connery, Bradley Cooper, Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman were also seen in the audience, along with Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson and David and Victoria Beckham were among the celebrities who witnessed tennis champ Novak Djokovic defeat Roger Federer to win Britain's Wimbledon Men's title on Sunday (06Jul14). Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Thor star Chris Hemsworth, Orlando Bloom, Kate Beckinsale and director Guy Ritchie were also in the stands at Centre Court as the Serbian sportsman emerged victorious after an epic five-set match, narrowly beating Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to claim his second Wimbledon trophy.
Jackman shared a Twitter.com photo of himself and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness at the London venue and later congratulated Djokovic on his seventh Grand Slam title, writing, "One of the greatest matches of all time @Wimbledon. Well done @rogerfederer. Superb win and huge congratulations @DjokerNole."
He also uploaded a photo of Djokovic hugging his mentor, former tennis icon Boris Becker, after the match and added, "Epic moment for djokernole, Becker and their entire team. What a day @Wimbledon. One I will never forget."
Other stars watching the game on TV also shared their thoughts online, with British comedian Stephen Fry writing, "How magnificently graceful both players were in defeat and victory. Hurrah for that", and actor John Leguizamo tweeting, "Sorry #federer u (sic) gave it your all my friend! Great game!"
Meanwhile, One Direction singer Liam Payne added, "Congratulations @DjokerNole heard it was a great game can't wait to watch it back have a drunk (drink) on me".
Actresses Kate Walsh and Brooklyn Decker, singer Eliza Doolittle and Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd were also among the celebrities tweeting about the championship finals on Sunday.
"If I had to say who I thought the best singers were, I'd say first that I don't know there's a definitive answer, as, in my opinion it's subjective, and second that my focus is primarily rock singers. That said, I enjoy Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Dan McCafferty, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Don Henley, Jeff Lynne, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Scott, Etta James, Fiona Apple, Chrissie Hynde, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and a ton of others... and would rather hear any of them anytime rather than me!" Axl Rose responds to a new online poll which placed his at the top of the world's greatest singers list.
Queen are bringing Freddie Mercury back from the dead for a new album similar to Michael Jackson's hit posthumous release Xscape. In a new BBC interview, guitarist Brian May has revealed plans to release new material later this year (14), which will include unreleased songs sung by frontman Mercury, who died in 1991.
The rocker says, "We found a few more tracks with Freddie singing and all of us playing and they are quite beautiful. It is a compilation but will have this material that nobody in the world has ever heard. I think people will really enjoy it.
"Most of it comes from the '80s when we were in full flight. It is quite emotional. It is the big, big ballads and the big, big epic sound... We had to start from scratch because we only had scraps. But knowing how it would have happened if we had finished it, I can sit there and make it happen with modern technology."
And the new album isn't the only link between dead stars Jackson and Mercury - last year (13) May announced plans to release collaborations between the two singers. It is unclear if these songs will feature on the new Queen album, tentatively titled Queen Forever.
May and bandmate Roger Taylor are preparing for an upcoming Queen tour of North America with former American Idol star Adam Lambert fronting the band.
Tributes are flooding in from celebrities following the death of British acting legend Bob Hoskins. The Who Framed Roger Rabbit star passed away on Tuesday night (29Apr14) after suffering from a bout of pneumonia. He had retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Tributes were led on Twitter.com by Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson, who writes, "Truly saddened by the passing of Bob Hoskins! A truly gigantic talent & a Gentleman. R.I.P."
British comedian Stephen Fry tweets, "Oh no, Bob Hoskins. Gone? That's awful news. The Long Good Friday one of the best British movies of the modern era. A marvellous man.", while actor Sam Claflin, who co-starred with Hoskins in his last film Snow White and the Huntsman, adds, "I had the honour of working with one of our countries (sic) greats, and what a privilege that was. A diamond. A gent. A legend. #RIPBobHoskins."
Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp adds, "RIP Bob Hoskins, 'Long Good Friday' one of the best movies ever made! You will be missed!", Melissa Joan Hart tweets, "RIP Bob Hoskins!!! In your memory I will show my boys Roger Rabbit this weekend", and John Leguizamo adds, "Dear BobHoskins rest in peace! - never worked a more gentle kind and talented actor!"
Former Queensryche rocker Geoff Tate has spoken out after reaching a settlement with his former bandmates over the use of the group's name on Monday (28Apr14), confessing he's glad the matter was resolved before it became a "nightmare" court case. Tate filed a lawsuit against Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson shortly after he was fired from the band in 2012, insisting that he alone should be able to tour under the Queensryche banner.
The singer lost a bid for a temporary injunction to ban his former bandmates from performing as Queensryche without him, and on Monday (28Apr14), the two parties reached an "amicable settlement" over the naming rights.
According to the settlement, Jackson, Rockenfield and Wilton will now be "the sole entity recording and touring as Queensryche", while Tate has been given "exclusive rights" to perform the songs from the albums Operation: Mindcrime I and II in their entirety "as a unique performance".
In his first interview since the agreement was reached, Tate tells Billboard.com, "I'm very happy that it's (legal battle) over and done and we can all move on with our lives. It's been a long, bitter two years.
"We've been trying to work something out for months and months and months, and it's like any kind of lawsuit - it's just slow going. But finally I think the realisation that going to court over the whole thing was going to be a huge nightmare and huge financial mess for everybody that (we) really started to look at it more seriously and realistically (sic)."
And explaining the full extent of the agreement, Tate states, "It's pretty similar to the Pink Floyd settlement, where one group got the name and Roger Waters got The Wall. It's very similar to that. I retain Operation: Mindcrime and everything revolving around that, and they got the name, so it's a win-win for everybody."
Tate adds he will continue to tour under the Queensryche name this summer, adding, "We're both allowed to do all of our pre-contracted dates as they were advertised, so once those dates are over then it all changes... I think my last date as Queensryche is September 1st, August 31st, something like that."